Eras of 3D Platform Games
These games are 3D platformers in a very primordial sense. The graphics for Alpha Waves are utterly simplistic while Fade to Black, which attempts to be realistic, is somewhat of an eyesore. Nonetheless, their gameplay goes beyond isometric platforming for something that actually exists on a 3D plane.
Super Mario 64 and Crash Bandicoot, being in development around the same time and thus having slightly different takes, formed the basic structures which every other 3D platformer would follow. Many franchises were updated for 3D at this point and new IPs were created especially for it. All the elements of the 3D platform game were created in this era. Because graphics could not yet imitate reality, most of these games are cartoony in aesthetic direction.
The genre having been fully realized in the previous era, these games improved graphics (even including some darker atmospheres) and made gameplay more complex and involving. New IPs came about and existing ones returned to varying success.
Since the genre was pretty much perfected in the last two eras, the next great step was to experiment with gameplay. This was done with motion controls and inventive concepts (Skylanders's use of toy figures that act as DLC, for instance). Intriguingly, a resurgence of interest in 2D platforming also came about during this era; this even affected the 3D games, which were made to include 2D portions along with their 3D parts.
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